Friday, April 19, 2013

Thoughts of Stellarcon

UNCG’s SF3 announced yesterday that there will be no Stellarcon in 2014. The club plans to spend the year restructuring.

As someone who served as both president of the SF3 and a Con Manager, I must admit this news makes me sad.    I cut my teeth on convention running at Stellarcon.  In fact, I’d be willing to go as far as saying that without Stellarcon and SF3, there would be no ConGregate.

I met amazing people, who became dear friends, in the course of the years of running Stellarcon.  From authors and artists, to actors and fans, the people I’ve met at Stellarcon have almost always been incredibly kind and generous with their time.  The list goes on and on of authors who encouraged me to write, who gave me the confidence to write and without having met them at Stellacon, I don’t know that I would now be a published author.

My memories of Stellarcon are, of course, clouded now by the years.  I have incredibly fond memories of sitting at the Hams on Friendly, which is now closed, drinking Rum & Cokes (and White Russians) while planning out the convention.  Through SF3, I met my husband.  And certainly, we drew closer working together on the con. There were a lot of late nights putting the program together, laying out the convention or dealing with last minute changes.  A lot of blood (hey! paper cuts bleed!), sweat and tears went in to each year to make it a success.  And yes, I know there are negative memories as well, but I don’t think they overshadow the good ones. 

Memories like:

  • Having Fire Alarms often enough at the old Holiday Inn that we scheduled a random Fire Drill in the program (Fire Sale!), only to have the alarm not go off the one time we really had a fire!
  • The Vampire LARPs taking over all 6 floors!
  • Robert O’Reilly singing “The King of the Forest”
  • Star Wars Trivial Pursuit w/ Aaron Allston, Mike Stackpole and Tim Zahn
  • Cabaret at the End of the Universe!
  • Inside the Stellarcon Studio
  • Wearing the original Cubic Zirconia costume at DragonCon and having someone in a line jump out and shout “Stellarcon!”
  • Iron Seamstresses
  • The last page of the program…
My daughter’s first convention, at 3 months of age, was Stellarcon and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.    

Even as Stellarcon changed, moving to more student-run, and away from alumni involvement, I still went every year.  Being named Fan GOH by them was an incredibly meaningful moment for me.

Laura Haywood-Cory perhaps says it best: “End of an Era.”  Stellarcon may come back in 2015 or the club may decide to let it rest forever.  But for the first time in 21 years, there will not be a Stellarcon in March and that makes me sad.

More things than are dreamed about/Unseen and unexplained
We suspend our disbelief/And we are entertained
~Rush, Mystic Rhythms

1 comment:

  1. Sadface. Well, kind of.

    The stories I've heard about the last couple years haven't been real encouraging, so I can't say I'm all that surprised.

    - Darryl (since Google apparently doesn't know who I am)